#1
Hey there!

I've been wondering, is there any truly good singlecoil-sized humbuckers?

I'have this custom strat with three singlecoils that are voiced to sound like the pickups from the '60s. They sound amazing, but my playing style and has shifted gradually from styles (and imitations) of David Gilmour ja Jeff Beck towards players like for example Guthrie Govan, Andy Timmons, Plini and Jari Mäenpää. Same thing tone-wise, i'm longing for that amazing, beefy tone. Is there any hope for me to achieve for example tones like this: (those lead sounds are just amazing...) with singlecoil-sized humbuckers?

Thanks for any ideas or answers!
#2
Sure there are, but no matter what they probably won't sound quite the same as a full-sized humbucker, because the spacing between the two coils is narrower and thus the frequencies picked up are a bit closer to each other.

I can say personally that my experience with SC-sized buckers has been great, but you may not be satisfied. It's hard to say without trying some.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#3
How is your strat routed? Can you just drop on a new HH pick guard and go full size?
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#4
Quote by metalmingee
How is your strat routed? Can you just drop on a new HH pick guard and go full size?



It is just routed SSS. I could get it re-routed someday, but I would like to try the easier method first. The pickup I'm searching for doesn't need to sound completely like those examples I mentioned. The tone I'm looking is that really saturated beefy tone what seems to sing forever if you let it.
Last edited by SeleniumForest at Sep 28, 2016,
#5
look at Lace Sensor pickups I think you'll find one that works for what you want. Blue or Red are in the humbucking range
#6
I would also recommend the Tone Zone. Really beefy
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#7
Lace Alumitone singlecoils sound nearly the same as their larger HB cousins. But they don't have the tone you seek, I think.

Custom winders and small companies also offer nice sc-sized HBs worth investigating. Check out Vintage Vibe, Rio Grande, The Creamery, Bareknuckle and Lollar for starters. Wilde and Kent Armstrong would be other good options.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#8
Why not just buy another guitar with humbuckers? I put single coil humbuckers in a tele once and regretted it. Not because they didn't sound good, but because I eventually ended up with many humbucker guitars and had nothing to deliver that tele sound without switching back. Changing out pups to get a better sound is a standard thing to do. But you are losing the single coil sound in the process vs just making the inherent sound of the guitar better.
#9
Andy Timmons likes a JB at the bridge. He is also a fan of Duncan rails. I think that track is mostly amp, effects, and fingers with a dusting of pickup seasoning.

Here is Andy with rails at the neck and mid.

"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#10
I've got Hot Rails in the middle and neck of one guitar, and they aren't bad.

My favorite neck pickup at the moment is the DiMarzio Fast Track II (it's an 18K pickup designed to be a bridge pickup for superstrats, but I'm using it in the neck of a couple of guitars). It's SO worth a try.
#11
You might also check out Charlie Christians or P90s of the appropriate size.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#14
Quote by diabolical
Not really...maybe try the Yngwie single coils. Best to route for real size buckers.


FYI, the YJMs are single coil-sized humbuckers, sure, but they sound like amazing single coils without the hum. There are single coil-sized humbuckers that are designed to sound like humbuckers (Hot/Cool Rails, etc) and then there are those that are designed to replicate ideal single coil tone without the hum (Vintage Rails, YJMs).
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#15
^ that is exactly why I recommended these (the YJMs). I own a guitar with the Hot Rails and it is not very close to a really good humbucker. It is passable but I wouldn't really recommended unless you're in a bind. Since all the pickguards are just a piece of plastic you could possibly just buy one routed for S-S-H and drop a real sized bucker in there.
The Lace Sensor pickups are great pickups and I usually recommend these for people looking to get quiet single coils and keep the original spirit of the guitar, but I am not sure if I'd recommend a single coil from them for high gain, unless they have a new product I don't know of.
#16
Thank you for the answers! Unfortunately I don't have the funds to buy a new guitar at the moment. I'm thinking about buying a Dimarzio Tone Zone S or Fast Track 2. Any opinion on those?
#17
Quote by SeleniumForest
Thank you for the answers! Unfortunately I don't have the funds to buy a new guitar at the moment. I'm thinking about buying a Dimarzio Tone Zone S or Fast Track 2. Any opinion on those?


The Tone Zone S is very fat. I actually prefer the S version to the standard because the closer spacing makes it a bit tighter, whereas the standard version flubs out a bit with too much distortion. I used it in my old Strat, and I got a great tone for shred and general high gain sounds.

I can't speak for the FT2, I haven't tried it, but I've heard great things.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#19
Quote by diabolical
I've heard good things about them as well.

So, you can't just change pick guards or cut out bigger hole for a humbucker?


Routing the guitar is a bit extreme, no?
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#21
Quote by diabolical
dementiacaptain it depends... I wouldn't do it on USA start but on a Mexiplank I wouldn't think twice and will reach for the chisel straight away. It all stays under pick guard anyway.


Fair enough, I'd just be concerned whether TS is willing to go that far. Of course, I'm not sure if we ever confirmed the route on his axe...
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#22
The "Fender"-ish strat I had back in the day had room for a humbucker upgrade and I think if you're okay with cutting your own, you can get the pickguard for next to nothing:
http://www.warmoth.com/Pickguard/StratPickguard.aspx
Even prewired with pickups in it:
http://www.guitarfetish.com/Pearl-Wired-Strat-3ply-Pickguard-HSS-Humbucker-J06_p_610.html
#23
Just read back, TS says his guitar is routed SSS. It's up to him whether or not he also already said he didn't want to route...
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.